Saturday, July 21, 2018 | ePaper

2 own goals help Barca beat Roma 4-1

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Barcelona's Luis Suarez (second right) celebrates his goal and the forth of his team with Lionel Messi (second left) and other teammates during a Champions League quarter-final first leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and Roma at the Camp Nou stadium

AP, Barcelona :
Roma made the already daunting task of beating Barcelona that much harder after scoring two own goals to help the Spanish side secure a 4-1 victory in the opening leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Wednesday.
The pair of own goals by Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas plus some sloppy defending that allowed Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez to also score left Roma on the verge of elimination before next week's return leg in Rome.
"We committed individual mistakes and made it easier for them, and you can't do that against Barcelona," Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco said.With Roma reeling following its two self-inflicted wounds, Pique added a third goal for the hosts.
Edin Dzeko pulled one back for Roma in the 80th minute before Suarez scored Barcelona's fourth, breaking his streak of 10 matches without a goal in the competition.
The victory extended Barcelona's unbeaten run in the Champions League to 26 straight home matches, a streak that dates back to September 2013."Football is game of errors, you try to make your rival commit them while you limit yours," Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde said. "We are happy because it was a complicated match, but they showed they are a good team and we have a long way to go before we can say we are in the semifinals."
Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-0 in the night's other match after first-half goals by Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane.Roma, playing in quarterfinals for the first time in a decade, succeeded in disrupting the hosts' ball-possession attack by pressuring up the pitch. But its defending lapses either produced or played a direct part in all four of Barcelona goals.
Lionel Messi showed no signs of being slowed down by the leg muscle problem that caused him to miss two friendlies for Argentina and be reserved as a substitute at Sevilla on Saturday, when his goal in the 89th-minute secured a 2-2 draw.
Messi had already forced Roma to swarm on several occasions to stop his runs before the visiting defense finally broke when Ivan Rakitic intercepted the ball near the box and started the attack that ended De Rossi's costly error.Messi sped into the area and passed for Andres Iniesta, whose returned pass to the Argentina forward would have left him in good striking position. De Rossi stretched to cut off the pass, only for the tip of his right boot to redirect the ball into the bottom corner of the net for the 38th-minute opener.

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